ANTH 453/553
WOMEN OF THE GLOBAL SOUTH

Course Overview

The Global South, frequently used in contemporary discussions to refer to "developing," "third world," "majority world" countries has increasingly received attention in academics, as people in the Global North have come to recognize the historical consequences of the North's relations to the South and contemporary global interconnections that affect everyone. In recent years, there has also been an increasing awareness of the imbalance of hardships under which girls and women of the Global South live, as well as their crucial contributions to the economic and social well-being of the members of their and others' societies. Women do a majority of the world's work, although they are often not compensated for it or included in government labor assessments. Women grow more than half of the world's food and are overwhelmingly in charge of raising the children of the world. Since women account for nearly two out of three of the world's illiterates and are the greatest and fastest growing share of the world's poor, they labor under grave disabilities, often with severely restricted opportunities. Along with an increasing awareness of the contributions and problems of women in the South, there has been a growing acknowledgment of the neglect of women's contributions and concerns in social studies curricula.

In this course, we will focus on contemporary issues for women of the Global South.

Skills Acquisition

Students taking this course will have opportunities to

1) Hone critical thinking
2) Practice analysis skills for primary and secondary information sources
3) Conduct research on significant questions and problems associated with class topics
4) Practice oral and written communication skills
5) Research, analyze, and present information as a member of a panel
6) Utilize reflexive thinking about course materials
7) Evaluate and formulate ideas for applications of theory
8) Communicate ideas about women of the global South with others

Required Books

(available at the Student Coop Bookstore; some used copies of the Kuna book may be at Henderson's and Michael's Bookstore in downtown Bellingham)

Five Women of Sennar, Culture and Change in Central Sudan, Second Edition
Women Reinventing Globalisation
Women Across Cultures: A Global Perspective, Second Edition
Kuna Crafts, Gender and the Global Economy


Copies of the books will be on reserve at Wilson Library.

Course Requirements and Grades

This course includes both individual and collective learning experiences. As a cooperative enterprise, the course requires individual commitment to regular class attendance and completion of assignments on time. Student presentation of information constitutes a significant portion of course material. Therefore, it is essential that all class members strive to contribute their best efforts. Please be prepared to discuss the required readings as indicated on the schedule. All written work is to be done in standard double-spaced, typed format.

Assignments and Scores

Attendance will be taken. More than two unauthorized absences may result in a lowered grade by one level (e.g. A- rather than A)

5% of the final grade is based on active participation in the class and contributions to the topics of the last day of class (details to be provided).

15% of the final grade will come from a take-home exam given out in Week 5 and due in Week 7 (Thurs., Feb. 17 by 5:00 in my mailbox).
There is no final exam!

40% of the final grade will come from a panel project, culminating in a PowerPoint presentation in class, a detailed outline of findings, and the creation of a poster to be used in conjunction with Women's International Day, March 8. See guidelines in Assignments.

40% of the total grade will consist of individual 4-5 page typed discussions on four of the topics in the course from weeks three through nine as they pertain to a particular country of the South.

The first paper is mandatory. The other three papers are to be chosen to coincide with other class topics to be covered. At least one paper must be submitted every two week period between weeks four and nine. Ideally, papers should be submitted in class on the day coinciding with the topic in the course to which it most closely corresponds (see Individual Paper Topics in Assignments section), but students have until noon of the Friday of a given week to turn in papers, providing they are prepared to discuss research findings in class on the day that a topic is being covered. Late papers will have 1 point subtracted for every day overdue.

It is a good idea to devote some time early in the quarter to investigating which topics might be most productive to research since there may be very little information on a given topic for your chosen country. (You may use the same or a similar topic as that of your panel for one of the four paper topics if you wish, but the paper should not replicate what you contribute to the panel). See Assignments for a complete listing of possible topics and dates coinciding with different weeks of the quarter.

Please select ONE country to investigate for all the topics you select (For ideas on countries of the Global South look in the Appendix of Women Across Cultures). This will give you a more complete picture of a country and the ways in which various conditions and factors affecting women's and their families' lives interact.

The information you gather should come from at least two, but preferably more, sources. Worldwide Web sources may not be used exclusively, but should be supplemented with materials from peer-reviewed journals and/or books. All sources must be cited (preferably in AA style). Each submission should be typed in a clear, organized manner with a summarizing paragraph of your findings. Each submission is worth 10 points.

Extra Credit: Undergraduate students may choose to earn extra credit by writing a review/critique of a book by or about a woman of the South's life. See me for a handout if you are interested. Intention to pursue extra credit must be declared by Friday, Jan. 28 and work must be submitted by Friday, Feb. 25. A satisfactory paper will result in a better grade for any grade under A (for example, from a B to a B+).

Graduate Students will be evaluated on assignments in a manner appropriate to their graduate rank. In addition to the above requirements, graduate students will complete one of three assignment choices:

1) writing an integrated 8-10 page review/critique of four scholarly articles on a selected topic

2) researching and writing an 8-10 page paper on a selected topic, relevant to the course

3) planning and performing an action project that ties to the course topics with a 3-4 page paper. See special section of Blackboard on Graduate Assignments under Assignments for more details.

Selection of assignment, topics and proposed plan and/or materials should be submitted in writing for my approval by Weds., Jan. 19 by class time. The due date for these assignments is Weds. March 2 by 5 p.m. This assignment is equivalent to 15 points. Final grades will be based on a normative grading scale (.93 of 115 points is an A, .90-.93 is an A-, etc.).